NESSIE WHISPERER: "The monster in the loch is everyone's internal monster," says Asheville-based author Sara Gruen. "What you do with it is what defines you." Her new novel is set in World War II near Loch Ness and deals with monsters real and imaginary. Photo by Tasha Thomas

Local author Sara Gruen pens an all-consuming new novel

Author Sara Gruen gets lost in her books. “I wasn’t able to immerse myself completely with Water for Elephants,” she says of her 2006 best-seller that became a film starring Reese Witherspoon. “The type of circus I was writing about no longer existed.” For her new book, Gruen spent a total of five weeks in the British Isles, researching, absorbing the culture and immersing herself — literally.

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Screen scene: Local film news

• The inaugural Montreat Film Festival is accepting submissions from local filmmakers through Monday, April 6. Entries must be shorter than eight minutes in length and reflect this year’s theme of hope. According to Montreat College’s website, the festival’s goal is “to highlight stories that honestly express and explore the human condition through the power of […]